The global lockdown has made me realise just how much society has changed over a relatively short time. When I began my career in journalism, almost 25 years ago, I didn't use the internet. Heck, I don't think I even knew what it was back then. Stories were written on large desktop computers with less memory than the average mobile phone. And that's another thing we didn't have mobile phones. The digital age had not made an impact on photography either. Whenever a picture was needed a photographer would be contacted and just before deadline a roll of film would be delivered. Once processed the slides would be examined and then passed over to the art editor to be scanned.
In this day and age, I can sit at home and put an entire magazine together from a laptop. At a push, I could probably manage it using my smartphone. All of which means I can carry on working and not have to worry about social distancing. But what about remote working within the drilling industry?
Earlier this year, I was in Las Vegas for the North American construction industry event, CONEXPO, and much of what I saw there related to increasing operator safety by making use of remote control. It would seem that every newly launched drill rig has the option of remote operation and so that leads me to wonder if businesses that have invested in new technology are continuing to operate in these difficult times because their staff are able to practice social distancing, work remotely and avoid un-necessary hands-on contact with machinery used by multiple people?
In a few years' time will we all be working remotely and reminiscing about the days when everything was hands-on?